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Sit. Feast on Your Life

By Charlene Rayburn

woman relaxing on beachThere’s something I’ve noticed as I practice mindful eating, and as I ask myself the questions, “What do I want? What do I need? What do I have?” I’ve observed that I desire higher quality foods, which I savor more, and which satisfy me longer. When I’m not influenced by food rules and lists of good and bad foods, I tend to treat myself a little more special, and reap the warm, self-affirming feelings that come with that special treatment.

I’d recited diet rules in my head for so many years when deciding what to eat that it didn’t matter whether I chose to follow them or not. They sapped some measure of pleasure out of almost every meal, either because I wasn’t really eating what I wanted, or because I was feeling guilty when I did. It is a joy to reacquaint myself with my true food preferences and give myself permission to honor them. Acknowledging this, I’d like to share this lovely poem by Derek Walcott which so beautifully articulates the experience of reconnecting with, and embracing, ourselves and our lives. I hope you enjoy the poem as much as I do.

Love After Love

The time will come when, with elation you will greet yourself arriving at your own door,
in your own mirror and each will smile at the other’s welcome, and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart to itself, to the stranger who has loved you all your life,
whom you ignored for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

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About the author

Charlene Rayburn, CVCC, lives her passion for mindfulness and intentional leadership by serving as a personal and professional leadership coach, by managing a department of dedicated employees for a Fortune 500 sized health insurance organization, and by facilitating Am I Hungry?® workshops and coaching sessions. She has coached extensively with individuals and groups outside the corporate world, as well as with executives, leaders, and teams in non-profit, private, public, governmental, and educational organizations spanning the globe. Charlene received her coaching certificate through the Center for Coaching Mastery at Coachville, LLC, and earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Management from Davenport University. She is a member of the National Management Association. One of her most emotionally challenging and rewarding experiences was serving as a volunteer at the Center for Battered Women. Charlene currently lives in Michigan and enjoys spending time with her husband of over 20 years, reading, learning, cooking, practicing yoga, and watching her grandson grow, who lives with his dad, her stepson in Fort Worth, Texas.

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